This is the busiest time of the year
We are extremely crowded on the weekends, and it is a good idea to get out very early and get your fishing in before the weekend crowds show up - mostly for the fact all that commotion really scares away the fish. A lot more boats and people in the water tend to freak them out. The fishing has been a bit off this summer but people are still catching. The frequency of catches could be better, but that's the nature of fishing, and why we don't call it catching.
Flounder action is finally getting much better offshore for many of the charters. You have to do some looking and hit a few spots to catch, but some of the boats are filling the box nicely. We have a pool going on what the largest flounder will be for the Flounder Pounder Open this year at Paradise Marina. Last year it was a little over eleven pounds, I am excited to see this year's winning fish.
The bay tournament was a little over six pounds. One thing that is different about the ocean is you don't use the top and bottom bay flounder rigs. Instead you use the single founder rigs to use less bait and to keep the bait closer to the bottom. Flounder are aggressive feeders in the ocean; the bay not so much. There is plenty of food in the bay, but in the ocean they have to hunt or wait longer for food so they feed aggressively. If you are using sub-par quality rigs you will lose a lot of fish. Also this time of year we see by-catch of all kinds of species including mahi at times. It is better to have a quality rig to handle these flounder and the usual by-catch suspects, especially small sharks. Diamond State Custom Tackle has a killer flounder rig that uses hooks that are much stronger than the name-brand gear you find in stores.
Spot and croaker action are still good at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier, unfortunately the croaker are small. Some of the spot are good sized, not just for bait but for eating. Nothing like a cooler full of hardheads to fill the dinner plate, but that action just hasn't happened yet this year. Kingfish and sand perch are around the pier, and the occasional trigger is still being caught. Top and bottom rigs with small pieces of cut bait, squid, bloodworms, or Fishbites. It is what we call kids' fishing.
Drive on beach etiquette
The surf has been slow fishing, unfortunately. That is if you can find a spot on the weekends. The weekday fishing is much better. There have been some spot and kingfish caught here and there and some short striped bass.
There have been some complaints about parking on the beach and the direction you are supposed to park. There is no rule on the direction your vehicle needs to face. We park sideways so we have a little room to actually fish. You can't fish in a space 8 feet wide with a vehicle parked so close to you your vehicle door won't open. The parks are going to have to do something about the weekend crowds on these beaches; it's getting out of control. Too many people not fishing and harassing those of us that do fish.
The slot striped bass season is still open in the Delaware Bay and her tributaries and those catches have been decent. Trash fish are tasty. We all hear that dogfish, skate and sea robins are trash fish, but did you know they are all good to eat. Even oyster crackers are good to eat. Next time, instead of taking out the trash, get a few cleaned and give them a try. You will be pleasantly surprised.
The White Marlin Open
The White Marlin open is underway! Good luck to all of the anglers and we will see you at the scales. "The 44th Annual White Marlin Open drew 353 registered boats with almost 3,000 anglers and crew competing for $4.9 million dollars in prize money.
The tournament runs from Monday through Friday and the $4.9 million that will be presented at the August 12 Awards Ceremony Saturday will represent the largest amount of money ever awarded in any type of fishing tournament."